Monday, Apr 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 22 November 2015 17:26

Spreading Hope for Children’s Education

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, Klang / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

The study grant recipients happily showing the blessing and cash card received. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

On November 22, Tzu Chi Klang organized four rounds of Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony at Chung Hua Independent High School, Klang; SJK(C) Yoke Kuan, Sekinchan; and SJK(C) Dengkil, respectively. At Chung Hua Independent High School, the morning and afternoon sessions drew a total of 765 grantees from 65 schools from around Klang area.


 
During the Tzu Chi Study Grant Presentation Ceremony, the students lined up on stage facing Tzu Chi volunteers. When the emcee uttered “Semoga Berjaya” (meaning may you succeed), both parties bowed deeply to each other. The students then received an envelope from the volunteers, which contained not only study grants but also blessings from all, hoping that they could finish their studies well.
 
A saviour during inflation period
 
The devaluation of MYR and rising inflation are the hottest topics among the Malaysians this year. The Tzu Chi Study Grant, launched in 2008, has eventually become the best support for parents during these situations. Tzu Chi Education Committee Member, Liang Yu Mei stated that the study grant has served as a timely aid in view of the current economic downturn where many parents felt the burden.
 
Varying from RM250 to RM1,000, the study grant is a relief for parents as it would enable them to purchase new uniforms, school shoes and reference books for the new semester. Unlike previous years, cash cards had been distributed instead of direct cash. Students and parents can then go to designated banks to cash out the value. Besides shortening the procedure and preventing errors, the cash card also reduces the risk of volunteers and parents handling the hard cash.
 
Since the launch of study grant, volunteers have been visiting families to assess their applications. Yu Mei mentioned, “The home visits have enabled volunteers to care for the family thoroughly, and to evaluate if the family needs additional help. This makes the whole family feel safe and supported.”
 
Manjuladewi a/p Balakrihnan, a study grant recipient, became a Tzu Chi care recipient after volunteers’ assessment. Volunteers found that her husband was involved in a tragic accident on his way home from work. He sustained brain injuries and was in a coma for five days in the ICU ward. After coming out of the coma, he lost his memory and till this day, Manjuladewi has been taking care of him.
 
With the loss of income from the main breadwinner, Manjuladewi had to pawn her jewelleries to support the family. Fortunately, she encountered Tzu Chi volunteers through their home visit. Besides providing her with financial support, volunteers also assisted her in the application of welfare benefits for the disabled.
 
At the ceremony, she brought her two children to share her story on stage. Her daughter, Nandhinie a/p Kesavan, who enjoys going to school, promised to be a good student, as well as, a good daughter by assisting her mother in caring for the family.
 
A motivation for children to study
 
The buses ferrying the parents and students arrived one after another at the venue. After registration and verification, the guests were led to the upper floor of the hall. Upon arrival at the entrance, they were warmly welcomed and greeted by volunteers, who handed them a little note of Jing Si Aphorism.
 
The ceremony commenced with a lively activity led by the volunteers from Entrepreneurs’ Group. This was followed by the screening of a video, which caught the guests’ attention. It featured a group of students firmly pursuing their studies. There was also a sharing session by parents and students which touched the hearts of the attendees facing similar situations. Parents were encouraged not to give up their children’s education no matter how hard life is.
 
Susila, a Tzu Chi care recipient, was empathized when listening to the sharing by parents on stage. She said, “Sometimes, Tzu Chi’s help to our family seems like the answer to my prayers.” Susila became the sole breadwinner for the family after her husband became mentally ill following an accident a few years ago. She has to work long hours at a factory; and is thankful that she has the help of her mother-in-law, who helps with the house chores.
 
Realizing the importance of education, Susila has ensured that her children attend school no matter how tough life is. She was grateful that her two daughters were given the study grant to ease her burden. She said earnestly, “Although they do not have excellent results, they have enjoyed learning. I hope they will study well so that they do not have to live a life like mine in future.” 
 
When it was time to hand out the study grant, the students happily lined up to go on stage, while an Indian girl on wheelchair waited quietly by the side. Since young, 14-year-old Suria has been wheelchair-bound and could not walk due to a spinal problem. Despite her handicap, she intends to be a doctor to help others.
 
Suria shared that she was really happy and moved to receive the study grant. As she loves reading, she would use part of the study grant to buy books, and save the rest for her future education. Suria was accompanied by her mother and stepfather. Although she lost her father at the age of five, she was never lonely as her family has given her tremendous support. Before leaving, they even made donations to the needy ones.
 
A petite Wu Jing Tao is always smiling. In the mother, Wang Xue Li’s eyes, her Primary 3 boy is a child who loves studying. His father, Wu Jin Fa, also shared that the boy would always do revision once he reached home; he would even forget his lunch sometimes!
 
Jin Fa, who works in an aluminium factory, admitted that his salary could not cover the family’s expenses at times. The mother was very worried that their family situation might affect their child’s opportunity to receive schooling. Thus, they were very thankful for the study grant.
 
Although their life was not smooth sailing, they were pleased that Jing Tao has successfully received the study grants for three consecutive years. He has improved in his studies, coming from 19th place in Primary 1 to 13th now; and has even scored full marks for English. Jin Tao smilingly expressed that he will study harder to get better results.
 
Volunteers also received a certificate of gratitude from Teacher Yang Xin Yi of SJK(C) Ying Wah, as a token of appreciation and recognition. Xin Yi, who started teaching two years ago, believed that education could change a person’s life. She felt that many students from poor families have lost their passion for studying, and some even stopped attending school amidst harsh reality.
 
But with the study grant now, students can feel the care from society and turn this into a motivation to study. She hopes that after receiving this loving-kindness, the students could pass on the love in future, so that more people could receive education too.
 
Karpagavali, who attended the ceremony with her daughter, told volunteers, “I want to become a volunteer together with my daughter!” She made this remark after watching the selfless contribution of volunteers from a video.
 
Karpagavali’s husband met with an accident a few months ago and had to rest at home. This had affected the family’s income until he was able to return to the workforce. Holding the envelope containing the cash card, she said, “I wanted to donate this money, but my daughter wanted to save it. Upon discussion, we decided to donate part of it to help those in need.”
 
 
At the end of the ceremony, students and parents waited in an orderly manner for the bus at the waiting area, and could be seen sharing their happiness with each other. As volunteers walked around with the bamboo bank, parents took out their wallets and let their children drop in the donations, teaching them to reciprocate and contribute. Hopefully, the cycle of kindness could accompany the children fondly through their journey of learning.
 
 
With gratitude, respect and love, volunteers bent down and handed the blessing card to Suria, who is disabled. [Photograph by Chee Fook Choy]   Yang Xin Yi, a teacher from SJK(C) Ying Wah, Klang, handed a certificate of gratitude to the volunteers, as a token of appreciation and recognition .[Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

With gratitude, respect and love, volunteers bent down and handed the blessing card to Suria, who is disabled. [Photograph by Chee Fook Choy]
 
Yang Xin Yi, a teacher from SJK(C) Ying Wah, Klang, handed a certificate of gratitude to the volunteers, as a token of appreciation and recognition .[Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Volunteers presenting sign language for the song, “We Are Family”, touching the hearts of many. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]   Before leaving, students joyfully dropped their donations into the bamboo bank, deriving happiness from helping others. Indeed a small sum can go a long way towards big charitable acts. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]

Volunteers presenting sign language for the song, “We Are Family”, touching the hearts of many. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
 
Before leaving, students joyfully dropped their donations into the bamboo bank, deriving happiness from helping others. Indeed a small sum can go a long way towards big charitable acts. [Photograph by Lee Eng Foo]
 
A study grant receiver-turned-care recipient, Manjuladewi a/p Balakrihnan (middle) went on stage with her daughter to share their story. She was extremely grateful for the help from volunteers. [Photograph by Chee Fook Choy]   Volunteers politely handed the blessing cards to the study grant recipients. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]

A study grant receiver-turned-care recipient, Manjuladewi a/p Balakrihnan (middle) went on stage with her daughter to share their story. She was extremely grateful for the help from volunteers. [Photograph by Chee Fook Choy]
 
 
Volunteers politely handed the blessing cards to the study grant recipients. [Photograph by Lai Kin Hoong]
 
Karpagavali was deeply touched by the selfless giving of volunteers, and had vowed to join in the ranks of Great Love to help others. [Photograph by Tan Guat Khoon]   Wu Jing Tao, a study grant recipient, promised to work harder to gain better results, so that he could repay the kindness from all. [Photograph by Tan Guat Khoon]

Karpagavali was deeply touched by the selfless giving of volunteers, and had vowed to join in the ranks of Great Love to help others. [Photograph by Tan Guat Khoon]
 
 
Wu Jing Tao, a study grant recipient, promised to work harder to gain better results, so that he could repay the kindness from all. [Photograph by Tan Guat Khoon]